Linda has been on the hunt for an old school hi fi since we bought our daughter a turntable for her birthday. The original plan was to check the Treasure Island flea market, but we didn’t feel like making the drive. So she hit Craigslist and five minutes later found the perfect match.
It’s a Magnavox with a tube amp. Judging by the style, I’d guess it’s from the 60s. It sounds pretty good. We dug out some vinyl from our vast collection and spent a good chunk of Saturday showing the kids what “real” music is.
We have tickets to see Mayer Hawthorne tonight at one of my favorite theaters, the Fox in Oakland. I’ve been dying to see him for years. I became a fan with his debut album, “Strange Arrangement” in 2009. I first heard him on KCRW’s Eclectic 24 stream and a free Starbucks download of “Maybe So, Maybe No”.
The show was excellent. If you get a chance, check him out.
It was a great evening all around. We had dinner at Flora in downtown Oakland, right across the street from the Fox. I’m loving downtown Oakland in general. Years ago, there was never any reason to go there, but now it’s happening. It hasn’t been totally updated like San Francisco, Chicago, or New York. There’s a still a good mix of old an new businesses.
Last night I caught the tail end of the Grammys. I must be a masochist, because I hate most award shows. Compared to most, the Grammys are the least authentic. That includes the Oscars, because I expect actors to be feigning sincerity.
Recognizing David Bowie’s contribution to music made perfect sense. I would have preferred someone other than Lady Gaga to do it. I think she’s talented, but let her Madonna’s tributes when she dies.
We really didn’t need another montage of his 10 radio hits. We’ve been hearing those around the clock since he died. It would have been more interesting to hear from the diverse range of people who worked actually knew him. I would have loved to see an uncensored Iggy Pop up there.
I liked the B.B. King tribute with Gary Clark Jr., Chris Stapleton, and Bonnie Raitt, because I like them. The Grammys tributes are such a conceit, not because they’re so mawkish and self-congratulatory. It’s because they’re obviously done more to promote the flavor of the day act.
Just bought tickets to see Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals for an August show. It’s at the Fox, the same theater I took my daughter to see Marina and the Diamonds.
I really wanted to see him again after the Bridge concert this past fall. Even better, he’s playing at one of my favorite venues in the Bay Area.
I assume it’ll be an electric show instead of acoustic since he’s appearing with the band.
Ambrosia is coming town riding the crest of yacht rock popularity wave. Too bad their opening for a Pablo Cruise cover band.
$10 for the first person to spot the typo. See answer below.
- It says “80s”. They were strictly a 70s band.
Woke up this morning to the news that David Bowie died. That’s a huge downer. Linda and I are were both big fans. He was one of the few artists to stay relevant without getting too hackneyed or corny (okay, there was the horrible “Dancing in the Streets duet with Jagger). You hear people going on and on about the Stones, Dylan, and especially Paul McCartney. None of them ever really updated their sounds or tried anything new. Sure, Dylan did a Christmas album, but I digress. Unlike Bowie they’ve been irrelevant, longer than they were relevant. Neil Young is the only other artists I can think of off the bat who has done something similar for so many years.
It’s been quite a month musically for me. In the course 8 days, I went to 4 different concerts.
The first one was Father John Misty down in LA at the Wiltern Theater. We’ve been wanting to see him for a while. His only Bay Area appearance was a festival with 100 bands I didn’t want to see, so we opted to go south instead.
A few days later, I took my daughter to Marina and the Diamonds at the Fox Theater in Oakland. She’s a great performer and her music sounds much better live than in recordings. I went with a buddy and his daughter. It’s good thing too, because I had a flat tire waiting for me at 11:30 pm in downtown Oakland. Not the best place for that.
At the last minute another friend of mine pinged me to go see Luna at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I’m not a huge fan of shoe-gazing smug rock, but they kept it together. The audience of decrepit hipsters didn’t age so well.
Lastly, we went to the 29th annual Bridge School Concert. It’s a fundraiser for a very special school started by Neil Young and his ex-wife Pegi. This was our second time, and like last year, it was an eclectic acoustic line up. The biggest surprise for me, was how much I enjoyed Ryan Adams. He’s a prolific songwriter, but he seems like a moody prick. I’ve heard “Give me something good” so many times on XM. But his live, solo acoustic version was much better.
Whether it was combat boots, brogues, or sneakers, the choice was critical in completing the rock uniform. While Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg still sound great, one is wearing street hikers, the other cross-trainers.
Granted, neither of these artists were ever stylish, but they still knew how to dress for their milieu – if you will. The sensible shoes, just reminds me that we’re all getting old.
Take a look…
At least Dave Grohl had the good sense to wear Vans.
Tommy Stinson still knows how to dress.
So I went to the Replacements show at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last Monday. I was not disappointed. It was as good a show as when I saw them in 1991. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot more this time. They played close to 2 hours, and mostly old, old stuff. They did get in all the best stuff.
The crowd was full of superannuated hipsters who totally forgot how general admission works. There was a lot of pinched faces when you stepped into the gap to get a better look. I managed to weasel my way up to the front row and to get some pictures. Sorry to say, I was one of those guys for a couple moments. You know the ones, the stiffs who stand there and film the whole thing instead of experiencing it. I couldn’t resist getting a couple pictures.
Up close, Tommy Stinson looked like Cloris Leachman. Not aging well, but at least he’s still alive.
They were tight and nearly sober.
Opening act, John Doe was decent.
I’m not a big fan of reunion shows. Like many guys “my age”, I was a huge fan of the Replacements, so I’m making the exception.
The last, and only time I got to see them was at Foellinger Auditorium while I was at the U of I. The rumor leading up to the show was they couldn’t stand each other anymore, AND they had cleaned up their act. For years, I had been dying to see them, but they never came to the towns where I lived. Since their last album was a little stale, I had lost some gumption.
I was working at this show as part of the student-run concert organization called Starcourse. Surprisingly, it hadn’t sold out right away and to promote it at the last minute we had signs saying “come see them before they break up.”
On the day of the show, I got to be on stage while they did their soundcheck. It was like getting a private concert – with their backs to me. I got that chill down my back when you hear a song live that you’ve only heard recorded.
I’ll try to write more, I have to get going.